Zoom Objective Structured Clinical Exams: Virtually the Same as the Real Thing?

Purnahamsi V. Desai, Heather B. Howell, Meaghan McGrath, Rachel Ramsey, Jonathan Lebowitz, Brit Trogen, Christine Cha, Kristyn A. Pierce, Sondra Zabar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Objective structured clinical exams (OSCE) are used to train and assess resident foundational family-centered communication skills incorporating key stakeholders. In 2020 encounters were conducted virtually. We sought to compare standardized patient (SP) and family faculty (FF) assessment across OSCE and virtual OSCE (VOSCE) formats. Methods: The intern classes of 2019 and 2020 completed a live OSCE and VOSCE respectively where they disclosed an error to an SP. The 10 minute encounter was observed by an FF and facilitator followed by a 20 minute debrief. The SP and FF completed a behavioral checklist to evaluate skill mastery. Results: Eighteen (90%) of the 20 interns completed the encounter each year. Total mastery scores were significantly higher for SP assessment than for FF assessment in both OSCE [68% vs 46% (z = -3.005, P < .05)] and VOSCE formats [68% vs 53% (z = −2.105, P < .05)]. Total mastery scores of SPs across OSCE and VOSCE formats did not significantly differ, nor did FF scores based on evaluation format. Conclusions: Our current experience suggests VOSCEs are a viable alternative to in person sessions given the comparable assessment across the two modalities. The ease of participating in virtual sessions may provide a way to more easily partner with key stakeholders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)483-488
Number of pages6
JournalAcademic pediatrics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2023
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


  • family centered communication
  • objective structured clinical exam
  • parent
  • pediatric residents
  • virtual


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